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What We Do

Mental Health & Wellness

RISE Drug Free MKE is working on reducing harmful "upstream" factors that contribute to substance misuse while promoting factors that help a person avoid misusing alcohol and drugs.

Check Your Alcohol Use

standard drink infographic

Everyone is concerned about the opioid epidemic, but we often fail to talk about problematic drinking. It’s a sad fact that more people die from alcohol-related causes than opioid overdoses. According to the state Department of Health Services, 3,207 people died from alcohol in Wisconsin in 2021, and 1,427 people died from opioids that year. This April, in honor of Alcohol Awareness Month, we have a couple of tips for how you can drink in moderation.

Count Your Drinks

In the US, experts define a “standard drink” as any drink that contains 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol. So if you’re drinking 80-proof alcohol, a standard drink is 1.5 ounces. For beer, it’s 12 ounces. And for wine, it’s 5 ounces.

Why is this important? Keeping track of how much you drink can help you prevent yourself from slipping into misusing alcohol.

While we don’t encourage you to drink every day, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that adults who choose to drink in moderation should limit their consumption to 2 drinks or less in a day for men, and 1 drink or less for women. Binge or heavy drinking would be considered 5 or more drinks on any day or 15 or more per week for men, and 4 or more drinks on any day or 8 or more per week for women.

The next time you are drinking, pay attention to how much you consume. Then ask yourself if you are drinking in moderation or if you are binge drinking. You might be surprised by the answer.

Set Boundaries   

When you are planning to drink, think about setting boundaries. Now that you know what a “standard drink” is you can set a limit that feels appropriate to you. Write it down and keep it with you, make a mental note, or ask a friend to help you stay within your limit. The buddy system is always a good way to ensure you are sticking to your plan.